Iron Man 3: Five Reasons Why We Love Tony Stark

With the release of Iron Man 3 on the immediate horizon, we look closely at Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr.
  • 5. He has a moustache - Adolf Hitler. Joseph Stalin. Saddam Hussein. Osama Bin Laden. Emperor Ming. Dick Dastardly. Captain Hook. Miles Mayhem. Without exception, there literally has not been a person in the history of mankind who had a moustache who wasn’t evil. Women almost never wear them.
    Superheroes pretty much never grow them. Would you trust Superman if he had a tache? Not even Wolverine dares attempt one. The only exceptions are the Green Arrow and the Comedian from Watchmen, who really was more rapist-sadist-murderer than hero. But Tony Stark doesn’t give a damn about any of this. He rocks a ronnie. And he looks good. Morally and aesthetically.
  • 4. He didn’t get involved in a contest when choosing his name - SUPERman! because I’m like, super, you know? If the name of DC’s favourite son wasn’t so deeply ingrained in our psyches and in popular culture, we would think that name was pretty stupid upon hearing it. And there are worse: Captain Marvel. Mr Fantastic. Wonder Woman. The Incredible Hulk. The Amazing Spiderman.
    Tony Stark meanwhile opts for Iron Man. The most rubbish of the metals. The most common on earth. It’s soft. It rusts. His suit’s not even made of iron, it’s a gold titanium alloy. It’s not really even a suit, its made up of 2million tiny individual cells held together by a force field. But, as Tony said, Iron Man ‘sounds provocative’. And as Ozzy Osbourne said, ‘Gold-titanium alloy man’ just didn’t have the same ring to it.
  • 3. He shuns anonymity – Whether it’s a mask, a cowl, a hood or, um, a pair of glasses coupled with a slightly different hairstyle, superheroes are cowardly types who like to hide their identities. Sure they talk about protecting their loved ones, like Peter Parker trying to ensure either Mary Jane or Aunt May doesn’t get kidnapped AGAIN this week, but they’re really just afraid of getting hassled by the paparazzi.
    Sure, he wears a full helmet, but everyone knows Tony Stark is Iron Man thanks to his hilarious reveal via press conference. An excellent Marvel Comics story arc called Civil War tackles the issue quite seriously (or as seriously as universes such as Marvel’s can get) in which an act requiring superheroes to reveal their secret identities and register themselves as WMDs divides the world’s heroes, Iron Man leading the for side and Captain America against, and they end up kicking the superhero out of each other.
  • 2. He has no superpowers – Superheroes, by definition, are supposed to have super powers. Otherwise, they’re just heroes, like firefighters and cops and blood donors and whatnot. But occasionally, one manages to sneak into the pantheon without having any super human abilities at all.
    Batman is a prime example. He’s a member of the Justice League, up there with omnipotent aliens like Superman and omnipotent jewellery wearers like the Green Lantern, yet he’s just a mortal man. Theoretically, you or me could achieve the same station in life (if the Justice League were a real thing).
    Batman’s just a guy who’s really rich and really smart and stuff, but essentially he’s just a man, which is what makes him so endearing. Just like Tony Stark. Just a super rich, super smart dude. And while his suit is all the flash, his best attribute is really his intelligence.
  • 1. He’s a jerk – Despite having two identities, superheroes are are frequently very one-dimensional. You tolerate and sit through the boring ‘human’ bits until they finally pull their costumes on and start kicking someice (if you know what I mean). Tony Stark meanwhile is just as enjoyable to watch as Tony stark as he is as Iron Man, if not more so.
    Hilariously cocky, and so self-involved it belies his intellect. Here is one of the richest men in the world with an empire built of defence technology, a weapons monger who is indirectly responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands, and who needs to be kidnapped by the people his instruments of death have been incinerating before he realises ‘OMG – weapons have the potential to hurt people.
    And hurting people is wrong. sad face. I’m not making weapons for these bold boys anymore.
    ‘Now wait here where I strap on my suit of weapons and watch me blow stuff up!’
    ‘PS I’m awesome.’